A Vintage Tea Party

Consideration provided by Hallmark at Walgreens.


I believe in the importance of returning the everyday kindness that is reflected my way. Gratitude is such a powerful thing, isn’t it? And there are always opportunities to positively impact the shape of someone’s day. Through a language barrier and a significant age gap, I’m lucky to have the sort of neighbor who intuitively knows when I’m stretched and frazzled.  She subtly responds by picking up a piece of chalk to join my kids in their sidewalk masterpieces – or she’ll appear with a watering can to enlist little one’s help in her garden.  With just a simple look I feel her support – and I too hope that she feels mine.


Over the years we’ve surprised our lovely friend with small gestures on her summer birthday. Drawings from the kids or her favorite green tea cake from the Japanese market brings such a beautiful light to her eyes.  Something as simple as a card from our local drug store and flowers from the market can have such a big impact, without making our gracious and humble recipient feel uncomfortable.


While picking up medicine for my little guy at Walgreens over the weekend, I found an ornately decorated Hallmark Signature card in the shape of a purse.  Instead of tucking the card into the accompanying envelope, wrapping it around flowers created what felt like an instant piece of art.


Throw in the family’s vintage demitasse set for birthday tea and macaroons and we had a proper little celebration wrapped in thoughtful words (with help from Hallmark), hopefully conveying just how much we care.

Thank you for your continued support of sponsored content on Marino Bambinos.


On Celebrating My Husband This Father’s Day

Consideration provided by Hallmark at Walgreens.

I’ve heard that holidays are grief triggers.  And I didn’t think that I’d be able to approach Father’s Day content this year until one of my close friends gave me solid advice on managing the holiday without my own. Simply put: “celebrate your husband unlike you ever have.”

My goodness, am I lucky that there is so much to celebrate in the father that my husband is.  Highly creative and incredibly fun –  he is so deserving of our recognition and collective gratitude.

I’ve learned that thoughtful preparations can be therapeutic.  I try to avoid approaching things in a frazzled rush and depend on my go-to places to add a layer of ease to my life.  So off I went to my local Walgreens, well in advance of Father’s Day to pick out cards, re-stock on art supplies and have a handle on our plans.  I brought the kids along and tried to keep my cool – as little (and eager!) hands sifted through the neatly stocked card section.


The kids were so excited to select a card for their Dad (for I think the first time ever?).  Who knew that choosing your own card could be so thrilling (and make you feel so important all at once!)? Throw in a 3-D Darth Vader design from Hallmark’s Signature collection – and the kiddos had found perfection.


Armed with Fresh watercolors back at home – the children added their creative touches to the card and worked on homemade masterpieces.  I know just how much our great guy will treasure his hand-painted + decoupaged shells, built on memories of collecting them at our local beach.  And the hand-picked card will carry special meaning and memories, long after the day has passed.


Watching my husband as a father is indeed one of my favorite things ever.


We’re so lucky that we get to celebrate him, and all that his is to us.

Thank you to our sponsor, Hallmark at Walgreens. 


The Mother’s Day Card

This is a sponsored post.

My mom is loving. My mom is kind. My mom is an exceptional card sender.


I have memories of my mother sitting at her antique secretary desk with one of my father’s fountain pens in hand carefully writing cards; inscribing backs of printed photos, and taking me along to the post office to send off her thick stack of envelopes.  And ever since I left my childhood home, my mom has sent cards (in impeccability perfect timing) for every occasion.

In our present day of unsolicited catalogs and endless bills, cards are tiny treasures. And in a world of cold screens, quick exchanges and electronic correspondence, cards are pure gold.  These tiny works of art carry thoughtful sentiments in familiar handwriting.  Something tangible from our loved one’s hearts makes its way through hands and mailboxes into our homes.  I’m certain that cards and letters convey a level of sentiment that electronic communication will never attain.


If it weren’t for an incredibly exciting travel invitation, we would be there for my mama this mother’s day. The next best thing is sending her thoughtful cards to let her know how much we care.  I found just what I need at my local Walgreens. Comforting words in a card from me – and even a beautiful card in Spanish for the kids to send to their Abby (Abuela). Hallmark has a way of presenting so many options in cards and serious skills in finding the right words – when perhaps our own seem to fail.

We’re so thankful for our little lot in life.


And the legacy of women who have made it all possible.